WEST ADDISON — The New York State Department of Transportation on Friday announced tentative plans to float the center arch span of the new Champlain Bridge to the construction site and lift it into place this week.
Officials stopped short of offering a specific date for the much-anticipated procedure, noting the potential for weather-related delays.
The massive arch span is currently under construction at the Valez Marine in Port Henry, N.Y. When it is completely assembled, it will be floated by barge to the bridge site and then fitted into place. The float is expected to take approximately four hours to complete and the lift is expected to last eight hours.
Transportation officials expect the process to begin at sunrise, with work extending into the early evening that same day. The main navigational channel beneath the center span will be closed for about 48 hours as the arch is floated into position, lifted into place and secured. Marine traffic will be directed through an alternative navigational channel during this period.
The public may be able to watch the lift, but some marine and vehicle traffic restrictions will be in place, officials warned.
For those interested in viewing the process on the New York side, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation campground, Crown Point State Historic Site and Essex County Visitors Center will be open to the public. However, parking will be extremely limited in this area and no additional parking accommodations can be made available because N.Y. Route 185, Vermont Routes 17 and 125, and the ferry access roads will have to remain passable at all times.
Keep watching our website for updates on the arch project.